Saturday, February 29, 2020

A wonderfully moving exploration of the line between creator and creation

Keighley News has Diane Fare's column on the latest goings-on at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Alongside families who braved the elements, we had visits from Keighley Highfield Community Association and Touchstones, Bradford, who brought groups of women and girls to take part in workshops led by theatre-maker Sophia Hatfield.
Sophia and I also visited Together Women Project in Bradford where a small group of women enjoyed a creative writing workshop – and all this work fed into a ‘work-in-progress’ event at the Old School Room in Haworth on February 29.
I was really looking forward to seeing how Sophia entwined the story of the Brontë sisters with the stories of the women she encountered in the workshops. It was fantastic to hear the different ways in which women and young girls today continue to connect with the Brontë story.
If a thriller story is more your thing, we have a treat coming up on April 4. The authors of two of the year’s most talked-about literary thrillers visit Haworth to speak about their new releases: Nuala Ellwood’s The House on the Lake and Jessica Moor’s Keeper.
These novels explore landscape, feminism and abusive relationships in a tradition that harks back to texts like Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, considered shocking at the time of publication in 1848. Tickets cost £8/£6/or just £2 for 16-25 year olds.
Budding writers can also join Nuala on April 5 for a two-hour writing workshop exploring the impact of landscape upon fiction. The workshop will be relaxed and informal, and is suitable both for those new to writing and those with more experience.
Nuala will lead participants through a variety of writing exercises, sharing her expertise on writing landscape from a variety of perspectives. Tickets cost £27.50/£25/£15. Visit or call 01535 640192 to book.
Skipping further ahead to the end of the month, we’re really excited to be welcoming Andrew Michael Hurley to Haworth to discuss his new novel Starve Acre, set in the Yorkshire Dales, which was Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime at the end of last year. (David Knights)
The Herald (Scotland) reviews Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town.
Oh, this is good. Isabel Greenberg’s earlier graphic novels The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and The One Hundred Nights of Hero played with the building blocks of storytelling, weaving her own folk tales, myths and legends out of familiar building blocks and coming up with something new and startlingly original.
In Glass Town she inserts her singular story-telling talents into the margins of the lives of the Bronte family, and, in particular, their juvenilia. It’s a fictional retelling of how Emily, Anne, Charlotte and Branwell came up with their own worlds Angria and Gondal and how those worlds at times consumed their creators.
Greenberg has the Brontes interact with their creations. They step from the grey, cold confines of 19th-century Yorkshire into the vivid colour and storybook design of their imaginary worlds.
The result is a wonderfully moving exploration of the line between creator and creation. And mortality and immortality, for that matter.
It is also another reminder that Greenberg is one of the most singular and imaginative graphic novelists we have. (Teddy Jamieson
The Big Issue has writer Camilla Bruce share her 'Top 5 gothic novels', the first of which is
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
When I first read this, at 16, I found it unbearably painful, which, of course, made me instantly love it. Flawed, passionate characters making horrible mistakes and a spatter of supernatural ghastliness makes this one of my all-time favourite reads.
The Times shares 'The critics’ choice of what to watch, see and do this week' and one of the theatre recommendations is
Wuthering Heights
There’s a nod to Kate Bush in Bryony Shanahan’s production, a bold mix of the Victorian and the modern.
Royal Exchange, Manchester (0161 833 9833), to Sat 7
Real Simple recommends '9 Literature-Inspired Travel Experiences to Book Right Now' and one of them is
For Brontë Sisters Fans
If you’ve never read a Brontë novel you didn’t love, you’re going to want to head straight to Yorkshire for a trip to the Brontë Parsonage Museum (bookable from $55) in the former Brontë home. Take a journey through Yorkshire’s industrial history and get acquainted with the town of Haworth where all three sisters lived and wrote for much of their lives.
For an even deeper dive into the inspiration behind Brontë favorites like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, there’s the eight-and-a-half-hour The Brontës, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre tour (bookable from $144). Drive through the Yorkshire countryside and experience the beautiful towns and dramatic landscapes that inspired the sisters’ works, including a stop at the gothic ruins of Wycoller Hall (known as “Ferndean Manor” in Jane Eyre). (Maggie Seaver)
The Arts Desk reviews the film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.
There’s no room for a Mr. Darcy or Heathcliff here. Men are absent between the scene showing oarsmen delivering Marianne to the beach near Héloïse’s home and the scene introducing the courier who has come to collect Marianne’s second Héloîse portrait (she destroyed the first to prolong their time together). (Graham Fuller)
LitHub has published an excerpt from a Kathryn Harlan story entitled Take Only What Belongs to You.
Esther cannot say exactly when she began to fall in love. It’s not a process she wants to minimize by pinning it somewhere specific, to an exact line in an exact story. But, in the titular story of Housecat, Wildcat, a girl, Tabby, goes away to boarding school and makes a friend, Alice, who is angelic, all gold and loveliness. It reads like a chapter of Jane Eyre until the two girls get up one morning and, without any reason, hold hands and walk into the woods. The rest of the story, its majority, comprises descriptions of survival—building fires with callousing hands, felling an injured deer, sleeping curled like pigeons in the trunk of a tree.
Idaho Statesman looks back on Boise’s grand opera house and the praises it received in 1889-90.
On Jan. 4, 1890: “Boise has not yet seen Charlotte Thompson, but it will not do to miss the rare opportunity of seeing one of the most talented actresses of the age, which will be presented on the evenings of Monday and Tuesday of next week in Sonna’s Opera House.” Of the great actress’ portrayal of Jane Eyre, the Statesman called it “a veritable triumph of the dramatic art.” (Arthur Hart)
Ara (in Catalan) announces that they will be selling seven books throughout the week together with the newspaper to mark International Women's Day and one of them will be Jane Eyre. Generally Gothic posts about Jane Eyre and The Letterpress Project posts about Tanya Landman's retelling. Kayla Cropper posts about Wuthering Heights.

Finally, this month's treasure from the Brontë Parsonage Museum shared by The Sisters' Room is a whalebone corset thought to have belonged to Charlotte Brontë and which gave title to Katrina Naomi's poetry collection Charlotte Brontë's Corset back in 2010.
An alert for today, February 29, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
‘I Am No Bird’
Saturday 29 February 2020
Work-in-Progress Sharing of I Am No Bird at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, 29th February 2020, 5PM.
A contemporary exploration of the Brontë story
A new show in development during February 2020.

I Am No Bird’ is a new show in development by award-winning theatre maker Sophia Hatfield of Stute Theatre, which explores the Brontë story in a new, modern light.
This show is currently in R&D with an all female creative team and cast.

Produced & Written by Sophia Hatfield
Directed by Lisa Cagnacci
Designed by Sophia Simensky
Dramaturgy by Lisa Cagnacci
Performed by Sophia Hatfield, Claire Marie Seddon and Emma Swan
Music by Sophia Hatfield

We are extremely grateful for support and funding from Arts Council England, Brontë Parsonage Museum and the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
We are also extremely grateful for workshop support, funding & input from Creative Scene, Kirklees Libraries, Manchester Libraries, Together Women, Touchstones Bradford & Keighley Highfield Community Association.
This brand new show explores the creative journeys of the Brontë sisters and asks what it means to make art as a woman today. Exploring oppression, misogyny, coercive control and the spirit required to overcome them, this exciting new show reinterprets the words of the Brontë and opens the classic works to a brand new audience, finding echoes in their work that live on today. Live music, original songs, creative language and a new spoken word script will be influenced by interviews and workshops with women living and working in Yorkshire.
“Inventive, engaging and fast-paced. Loved your spoken word. I found the stories really intriguing and interesting and engaging.”

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday, February 28, 2020 10:25 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Valley Advocate reviews Hartford Stage's production of Jane Eyre.
So my first thought on seeing Jane Eyre in the season lineup at Hartford Stage, where it’s playing through March 14, was Why? Why add another retelling of the tale to a long line of predecessors?
The answer, in this adaptation by Elizabeth Williamson, who also directs, is that it does something the book does and screen versions don’t. Where film and TV can render the Yorkshire moors in vivid color and take us along the shadowy hallways of Thornfield Hall, the viewpoint is objective and the story is told, as it were, in the third person. Brontë’s narrative is in the voice of Jane herself (it’s said to be the first-ever novel to be told in the first person by a female protagonist), and so is Williamson’s play.
Jane, played by Helen Sadler, speaks directly to us, the audience, using Brontë’s term “Dear Reader.” As in most versions, much of the dialogue comes straight out of the book, to which is now added Jane’s own thoughts and commentary.
Thus, we not only witness the cruelties visited on the poor orphan child in the home of her callous aunt and at the brutal Lowood Charity School, we have her opinion of them. This approach serves narrative efficiency as well, moving us briskly from place to place on Nick Vaughn’s spare set, where a writing table and a window seat flank a bare stage, and drawing rooms are represented by furniture that glides in and out on a turntable. Atmosphere is provided by Isabella Byrd’s ghostly lighting, Christian Frederickson’s moody music, and flashbacks seen in stark silhouette.
I would have appreciated the first-person device a lot more if Sadler’s approach had been more intimate and inviting. But she seems to think expressing Jane’s ardent spirit and narrative urgency requires excessive volume and overemphasis, more haranguing than confiding. This skews our sympathies for Brontë’s feisty, resilient, outspoken heroine, whose coming of age as a governess in the household of the irascible, secretive Mr. Rochester is both a story of hopeless love finally attained and a tale of mystery and dark secrets, accompanied by midnight shrieks of uncanny laughter.
Chandler Williams’ Rochester makes a refreshing change from the usual brooding Byronic misanthrope. He’s plenty peevish, but also ironic, eccentric, even whimsical, a bit overblown at times but giving the piece its only flashes of spontaneity and humor.
An ensemble of six carry 19 supporting roles. I particularly relished the versatile Felicity Jones Latta as Jane’s imperious aunt, the kindly housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, the snooty Lady Ingram and the furtive madwoman in the tower. Eleven-year-old Meghan Pratt is appealing as young Jane and Adèle, Rochester’s French ward, and Grayson DeJesus creates nice variants of three miscellaneous relatives.
Marie-France Arcilla gives a supercilious flounce to the vacuous Blanche, Rochester’s supposed intended, but her performance of the creepy servant Grace Poole is clichéd and furnished with, of all things, an Irish accent. While Sadler brings her native-born English accent, no one comes close to the Yorkshire cadence of the book’s locale, and most of the supporting cast either approximate BBC English or follow Arcilla into bad attempts at bog-Irish.
At just over two hours, this Jane Eyre provides a handy summary of the beloved book, and there are effective moments in Williamson’s rendition, but this critic was never lured into its spooky spell or tortured passions. (Chris Rohmann)
The Orange County Register features the preparations for a local production of Jane Eyre. The Musical.
Period movement, voice, dialect and even corset training are part of Gabrielle Adner’s preparation for the lead role in Cal State Fullerton’s production of “Jane Eyre: The Musical,” opening March 13 at the Little Theatre.
Donning a long skirt, long-sleeve blouse and corset Monday through Friday, from 7-10 p.m., Adner was initially worried the corset would hinder her ability to sing. But, after a period of adjustment that included switching her meal times, she was surprised to find that the costume aligned her posture in a positive way.
“Corset training has actually helped my vocal technique,” says Adner, a theater major who will portray Charlotte Brontë’s classic heroine. “My breathing comes from a different place, and when I sing, I feel more supported.”
To keep her voice healthy, Adner has been keeping to a strict regimen of increasing her water intake, taking vitamins, going to sleep by 11 p.m., minimizing the amount she talks during the day, avoiding caffeinated drinks, and not eating tomatoes or other acidic foods.
In addition to the daily three-hour rehearsals, Adner has invested hours of outside time preparing for the role — reading the libretto and book, listening to the musical score, memorizing lines, working on character development and even watching a documentary on the Brontë sisters.
“Being the lead of the musical can be emotionally and physically exhausting,” she says.
When she feels worried or anxious about the performance, Adner tries to remember positive moments in rehearsal and turns to her peers for support. “I try to calm myself by thinking about what I can do to make myself the best Jane Eyre I can be.”
Sixty students and faculty members are involved in the production, which began in November, on everything from the cast to costume, hair, makeup, lighting, sound, scenery and property design.
James Taulli, director and dean emeritus of the College of the Arts, says students are gaining classical training as the musical follows Eyre’s journey from a student at Lowood School to governess at Thornfield Hall. [...]
Theater major Enrique Duenas has been cast as Edward Fairfax Rochester, master of Thornfield Hall and Eyre’s love interest.
“I am really intrigued by dark, mysterious characters like Mr. Rochester,” he says. “I feel like they have so many layers.”
The Wesleyan Argus discusses the literary canon:
Across the 1990s, a long war was waged over whether or not university and high school English departments should continue to hold a specified canon of literature above the rest. Not only was the canon—which included the likes of Shelley, Blake, Johnson, Coleridge, Melville, Hawthorne, Shakespeare, Joyce, Faulkner, Nabakov, Pynchon,Tolstoy, Dante, Homer, Goethe, etc.—exclusively white, exclusively dead, and exclusively male with the exceptions of Austen, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, it was not clear that such a canon truly represented the acme of all literary accomplishment, or even what such an acme should mean. Is it not curious that such an emphasis was put on Renaissance plays, Romantic poetry, and the early novel? And so we attempted to level the playing field, but I would contend that we did not succeed. Really, the decline of the canon was a recentering of educated discourse from literature to politics. (Tom Hanes)
Florida State University reports on the latest talks by members of its staff:
Judith Pascoe, Ph.D. (English) gave a talk “Wuthering Heights, World Literature, and Japanese Child Readers” at Meiji University Dec. 10 and at the University of Tokyo Feb. 6. She was also one of four speakers at Tokyo Humanities Cafe Jan. 9, which aims to bring together humanities researchers in Tokyo and make their research visible to an international, non-specialist audience. (Anna Prentiss)
Les Échos (France) has an article on 'Flaubert, Madame Bovary and coronavirus.
Comme toujours, une évolution souhaitable passe d'abord par des excès ; c'est le cas ici aussi : on ne doit pas aller jusqu'à penser que Flaubert n'avait pas le droit d'écrire « Madame Bovary ». Ni que Jane Austen ou les soeurs Brontë n'étaient pas légitimes en racontant dans leurs romans les aventures de formidables personnages masculins. Et tant d'autres exemples, en particulier dans le cinéma aujourd'hui. (Jacques Attali) (Translation)
The Australian features Simone de Beauvoir listing the Brontës as early influences. Jornal do Comércio (Brazil) recommends Wuthering Heights as a classic of  'human degradation'.
An Anne Brontë mini-exhibition taking place at the Morgan Library in New York:

No Soft Nonsense: Anne Brontë at 200
February 25 through June 7, 2020
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Why should a woman author be compelled to keep things nice? English poet and novelist Anne Brontë (1820–1849) adopted an ungendered pen name because she wished to be heard. Still, critics couldn’t help speculating about the identity of the pseudonymous “Acton Bell.” After she published a novel featuring graphic depictions of addiction and domestic abuse, one reviewer accused the author of harboring “a morbid love for the coarse, not to say the brutal.” She issued a written retort: “If I can gain the public ear at all, I would rather whisper a few wholesome truths therein than much soft nonsense.” Moreover, she added, “I am satisfied that if a book is a good one, it is so whatever the sex of the author may be.”
Brontë published two novels and twenty-five poems before her death at age twenty-nine. This small installation, on view in the Rotunda of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library and drawn entirely from the Morgan’s own holdings, marks the two-hundredth anniversary of Brontë’s birth and celebrates her bold, enduring literary voice. It includes her annotated Bible, early editions of all her published work, manuscripts of her poetry, and two letters from her sister Charlotte about Anne’s final illness.
A web presentation features digital images of all the Anne Brontë literary manuscripts in the Morgan’s collection, the largest in the world.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thursday, February 27, 2020 10:11 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Journal Inquirer reviews Hartford Stage's production of Jane Eyre.
Creating a stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” has been a passion project for Hartford Stage’s Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson. With the final product now on stage, adapted and directed by Williamson, it is evident that her efforts and dedication to it have paid off.
This is the best piece of theater that Williamson has directed at Hartford Stage. [...]
The early end of the first act feels rushed at times as Williamson tries to establish the relationships as quickly as possible to get to the root of the narrative. But once the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester is established, the play settles in and it has a natural flow. The pacing and flow of the second act is engaging and packed with tension.
Williamson’s staging works with simplicity with the minimalist scenic design by Nick Vaughan. There is little set to speak of, just a few benches, a desk, an upright piano, and a few props here and there. Any complexity of the stage comes from the turntable center stage that rotates set pieces behind a flat that opens on both stage left and right as doors to let characters and set pieces enter and exit. [...]
Much praise goes to Sadler, who is maybe offstage but for a few seconds through the entire two hour-plus run time. She gives Jane a delightful curiosity, but also a wary guarded quality about her. She embodies Jane’s educated nature, but also the insecurities of a very young adult out on her own for the first time. It’s a difficult balance to maintain and Sadler does a terrific job maintaining it.
Williams is a delight as the eccentric Mr. Rochester. A couple of times he allowed himself to lose his bearings on what he’s doing onstage, but overall he brilliantly captures the enigmatic nature of a man who is quickly falling in love with Jane, but can’t reveal what secrets he has within his home.
The first thing that pops out at the top of the show, before Sadler says her first lines, is Ilona Somogyi’s costumes, which are phenomenal, gorgeously rich and textured. Amid a richly atmospheric lighting design by Isabella Byrd, Somogyi’s costumes make the actors pop out onstage in a way that is luminous.
Those who are fans of Brontë’s novel should love this adaptation and if you’re coming fresh to the story, it is alive and freshly interpreted for a contemporary audience to embrace. (Tim Leininger)
Broadway World announces that due to the success of the production there is to be one more performance.
In response to popular demand, an additional performance of Jane Eyre, adapted and directed by Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson, has been scheduled for Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. The show will close on Saturday, March 14.
Jane Eyre has received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Broadway World praised Jane Eyre as "captivating and entertaining...a sweeping narrative delivered by a talented cast and supported by strong technical design."
Coincidentally, The Guardian has a very interesting article on adapting novels to the stage.
Tales by Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter and Emily Brontë are all being brought to theatres this year. Their creative teams reflect on what they cut and what they added [...]
Several formally complex fictions are currently being reimagined on the boards, from Angela Carter’s magical realist short story The Company of Wolves, opening at the New Vic in Newcastle-under-Lyme in May, to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, currently at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. [...]
In any adaptation there is the question of what to include and what to leave out. “A written story, even a short story, has plots and subplots which are very difficult to fit into a single theatrical event,” says Heskins. Andrew Sheridan and Bryony Shanahan agree. They are currently staging a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights and to stay faithful to the spirit of Brontë’s love story between Cathy and Heathcliff they rearranged its chronology, focusing on the first part of the book and changing its narration for greater dramatic effect.
“A literal adaptation wouldn’t work,” says Shanahan, the joint artistic director of the Royal Exchange and director of this production. “We invented ways to tell this story for the stage … but any departures from the book are there to bring us back to its spirit.”
The production captures the book’s anarchic, otherworldly essence with synthetic music in scenes when Cathy and Heathcliff are running along the moors. Live musicians appear on stage and poetry by Brontë and her father, Patrick, has been inserted into the script for added lyricism.
This production, says Shanahan, is less sanitised than previous, romanticised versions that amp up the central passion between Cathy and Heathcliff but gloss over the brutality that runs alongside it in the original text.
Sheridan’s adaptation, by contrast, shows the bond between Cathy (Rakhee Sharma) and Heathcliff (Alex Austin) with all its ferocious and feral edges. The book contains everything from spitting and slapping to the scraping of bloody wrists on window panes, the killing of animals, domestic abuse and shades of sadomasochism and necrophilia. The play does not shy away from these violent elements and comes with a content warning as a result.
Sheridan began working on the adaptation three years ago and read the book more than 20 times. The readings have drawn him close to Brontë and he thought it just as important to capture her “punkish” spirit in his script. “I became quite obsessed with her,” he says. “I felt she was standing over my shoulder. Every time I finished a draft, I fell into a fever … Emily Brontë always felt present.” (Arifa Akbar)
Keighley News has an article on Sally Wainwright.
A visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth as a child has led to a lifelong love of the literary siblings’ work for one award-winning writer.
Sally Wainwright said she’d always retained a fascination with the sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne – and their writings.
“I’ve been interested in the Brontës for as long as I can remember,” she said.
“They achieved so much in such little time.
“What’s interesting to a contemporary audience is their domestic situation; three women living with an alcoholic brother and trying to get published. Women at that time lived vicariously through their brothers.
“The Brontë sisters were three geniuses under one roof, women in a male world. I feel so privileged, as a Yorkshire woman, to write about these fabulous Yorkshire women.”
Ms Wainwright wrote and directed To Walk Invisible, a 2016 television film about the Brontë sisters.
It was shot in Haworth and at nearby Penistone Hill, where a meticulously-detailed replica of the family’s parsonage home and surrounding streets and buildings was constructed.
The screening sparked a huge surge in extra visitors to the parsonage, including many local people who hadn’t previously been to the museum.
Staff reported positive feedback from the public about the 90-minute film, which also received universal acclaim.
The museum’s Twitter feed was inundated with rave reviews.
Local councillors also expressed their admiration for To Walk Invisible and spoke of its potential long-term effect on boosting Haworth’s tourist trade. (Alistair Shand)
The Nerd Daily recommends '12 Shorter Classic Novels To Devour' and one of them is
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
Ah yes, a mention of one of the Brontë sisters! This list would be not right without a mention of this short 240 page classic. This one is the smaller of two books written by Anne, and it surely doesn’t disappoint and it is one of my all-time favourites!
Synopsis: Drawing directly on her own unhappy experiences, Anne Brontë‘s first-person narrative describes the almost unbelievable pressures endured by nineteenth-century governesses – the isolation, the frustration, and the insensitive and sometimes cruel treatment meted out by employers and their families. (Louise Nice)
The Oakland Press reviews the film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.
Most period pieces are based on established and renowned novels, but “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is based on an original screenplay that was also penned by Sciamma. It's an exquisite and ravishing romance that still has the scope of a Jane Eyre or Edith Wharton adaptation. (Robert Butler)
The Sisters' Room features Balthus's Wuthering Heights illustrations.
Some alerts for today, February 28.

In Pequot Lakes, MN:
Pequot Lakes Community Theatre presents
Jane Eyre
February 28th & 29th; March 6th& 7th - 7:30 PM
March 1st & 8th - 2:00PM
Greater Lakes Area Performint Arts, 30805, Olson Street, Pequot Lakes, MN

Orphaned Jane Eyre overcomes her early abusive and lonely experiences to become an accomplished governess at Thornfield, the mysterious home of Mr. Rochester. She is drawn to the master of the house, but their future is destroyed by a secret from his past… a secret that also forces Jane to flee Thornfield into poverty and illness. Eventually, Jane is able to find family, wealth, and love, but not without a cost. Though fatithful to the original story, this adaptation also focuses on Jane’s gradual ability to shed ghosts of her past to become a fully realized person.
In Atlanta, GA:
William Luce’s Brontë: A Portrait of Charlotte
February 28, 2020 to March 08, 2020
The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse - 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm
499 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Charlotte Brontë - Mary Ruth Ralston

Brontë begins in 1849 with Charlotte returning from Scarborough where she has buried her youngest sister Anne, the last of her living siblings. Now only Charlotte and her ailing father are left in this house of memories and she has resigned herself to the notion that she will now live and die alone. Or has she? As the play unfolds, Charlotte invites the audience into her home to spend an evening reflecting on her life and soaking up her charm and genius. Written by the author of Barrymore and The Belle of Amherst. Starring Mary Ruth Ralston as Charlotte.
In Haworth:
Parsonage Unwrapped: Imaginary Worlds
Glass Town, Angria & Gondal
Friday 28 February 2020, 19:30 h

The story of the four young Brontë siblings creating fantastical imaginary worlds which they peopled with their toy soldiers has entered into the cultural consciousness, but how much do we actually know about these juvenile creations? Join academic Dr Emma Butcher and artist Isabel Greenberg to get close-up with our collections and explore the worlds of Glass Town, Angria and Gondal in this exclusive after-hours event.
Dr Emma Butcher is an expert in the history of children and war, was a BBC New Generation Thinker in 2017 and published the monograph The Brontës and War in 2020.
Isabel Greenberg is a London-based illustrator and writer, and a New York Times bestselling graphic novelist. Her most recent release, Glass Town, is a graphic not-quite-biography of the Brontës, released in spring 2020.
Brontë Treasures
The ultimate Brontë experience
Friday 28 February 2020, 14:00 h

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Brontë artefacts, manuscripts and personal belongings. Brontë Treasures offers a unique opportunity to go beyond the security cord into the Parsonage Library for a close-up viewing of some of the items not on display. During these special hour-long sessions, a member of our curatorial team will share facts and stories about a number of carefully-selected objects, offering a specialist insight into the lives and works of this inspirational family. Fascinating and moving in equal measure, Brontë Treasures is a not-to-be missed experience.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:09 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
AJC has an article on the comforting pleasure of a cup of tea.
I thought about Alice [a British kid] and her proper ways with tea when I cracked open “Jane Eyre” for the first time in high school. When 10-year-old, maltreated Jane is sent to Lowood, a charity school for orphaned girls, the benevolent superintendent, Miss Temple, takes pity on her and the sick Helen Burns by inviting the deprived girls to her room for tea. Jane recalls: “How pretty, to my eyes, did the china cups and bright teapot look, placed on the little round table near the fire! How fragrant was the steam of the beverage, and the scent of the toast!” Bah. The trio had to split one measly slice of toast. And, a few pages later, Helen Burns dies.Oh, but all British tea moments aren’t so pathetically sad. (Ligaya Figueras)
Elle has a teacher list the '6 Things Teaching Has Taught' her. One of them is related to Jane Eyre:
It's all about the lightbulb moments" There's nothing more satisfying than the ‘ooh’ noise students make when things click into place and they finally understand something you've been trying to teach. Those lightbulb moments can happen in lots of different ways. A few years ago, I was reading Jane Eyre with a Year 9 class, and I remember a student being in tears over the death of a character. That show of emotion was proof they'd really understood and engaged with the text." (Alison Lynch)
The Sunday Post features the book The Author Who Outsold Dickens: The Life and Work of W. H. Ainsworth and interviews its author, Stephen Carver.
Why did you write this book? A long-held desire to get Ainsworth back into British literary history. I love his work and have a bit of a hobbyhorse about unjustly neglected or forgotten 19th-Century authors. From costume drama and the heritage industry, you’d think no one was active except Austen, Dickens and Charlotte Brontë. I’m sure viewers and readers would respond to his stories if they had access. (Sally McDonald)
BookTrib interviews writer Valarie Taylor.
Biggest literary influences: While drafting my book, I finally read Jane Eyre, which totally consumed me. To know that Charlotte Brontë had to write under a pen name in order to be published in the mid 1800s and here I am publishing my book, in my name, through She Writes Press—an all-female imprint—is mind-blowing. We’ve come so far, but it’s taken way too long.
According to a piece of misogynistic advice from Book Page, you shouldn't
 condemn a man for missing the point of the novels you adore. Even if he thinks that Jane Eyre would be much improved if Rochester simply “told Jane the truth and installed his wife in a decent Swiss clinic,” what matters isn’t whether he becomes a literary analyst. What matters is all the effort he’s willing to make to try to understand you better. Because that’s love—whether he’ll admit it or not. (Elizabeth Mazer)
We say--dump him.

Daily Mail has a sponsored article on '10 of the best train journeys in the world', including
6. North Yorkshire Moors Railway
What could be more quintessentially English than a heritage railway journey exploring the best countryside that’s right here on our doorstep? The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, first opened in 1836, is one of the most popular heritage lines in the UK as it runs directly through the North York Moors National Park to offer 24 miles of astonishing rural views.
On a scenic ‘Yorkshire by Steam’ rail holiday, organised by Rail Discoveries, you’ll also get to ride the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway through beautiful Brontë country to complete your discovery of Yorkshire by rail.
1:00 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
A musical alert for tomorrow, February 27:
Seven Ages of Woman - International Women's Day
14:00 Thu 27 Feb 2020 St Peter's Eaton Square, London
The concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 1pm on International Women’s Day, Sunday 8 March.
In Radio 3’s latest commission, each of the seven composers gives their individual take on where they are in their lives - right now as a woman in 2020 - and the resulting piece of music as a whole will take listeners on a journey through time of mind, body and soul. During the concert the composers will discuss their inspiration and the creative process for this project with presenter Fiona Talkington. Grace Rossiter conducts the BBC Singers.

Judith Bingham- Gleams of a remoter world
Joanna Gill- Unfailing love
Abbie Betinis- God of Owls
Kerensa Briggs- Media Vita
Seven Ages of Woman
Helena Paish- Life
Electra Perivolaris- Eternal Waking
Samantha Fernando- Have It All
Emily Hall - Veins
Deirdre Gribbin - Grieving Elephants
Cecilia McDowall - Photo 51
Rhian Samuel - The Shape of Trees
According to Rhinegold:
The choice of texts represents the composers’ own decades, spanning from 1944 to 2002, taking in the poetry of Christina Rossetti and Charlotte Brontë, to that written by commissioned composer Deirdre Gribbin’s son, who has Down’s syndrome. Each composer represents her own decade, from Helena Paish in her teenage years, to Rhian Samuel, who has written the final movement. (Harriet Clifford)
Therefore, we think that Helena Paish's Life is probably a musical adaptation of the eponymous Charlotte Brontë's poem

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Hartford Courant reviews the Harford Stage production of Jane Eyre.
For those who have read Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel or seen some of its many other stage, film or TV adaptations, there’s little to argue about. Williamson — who not only scripted this “Jane Eyre” but directs it — is profoundly respectful of the source material. Yes, she streamlines the plot by rendering Jane’s childhood mostly in short flashbacks rather than the 10 or so chapters it takes up in the book. [...]
But Williamson is deeply faithful to Brontë's reserved tone of wistful reflection, pushing the sense of a mature Jane looking past on her youthful adventures. [...]
The steadiness of the storytelling means that the adventurous aspects of the story are tempered. A raging fire is depicted with puffs of smoke. A fraught trip through the woods at night is done without wagons or horses or sound effects. Nick Vaughan’s scenic design consists of big dark wooden sliding doors, which are used for a few cool scene-changing effects early in the show but underused at other times. Similarly, there’s some clever use of shadow screens early on, then they go away. It’s all rather straightforward. The story may be shocking, but the staging is not. It’s leisurely, literary, acting out a story as it’s being told.
The show’s eight actors respond to this stylistic challenge in different ways.
For Helen Sadler as Jane, it’s about maintaining her composure, and her authority as the teller of her own story. She gets caught up in calamities, disasters and confusions, but never really freaks out as she might if she weren’t in charge of setting the tone of the whole play. Sadler’s Jane is lithe, vulnerable yet clear-headed. When she is troubled, her mental state is magnified by having her strip off her gray dress and fret in her petticoats.
It falls to Chandler Williams, who plays Jane’s cryptic, attractive, insouciant employer Mr. Rochester, to provide most of the physical thrills and spills. Williams, who used a profusion of pratfalls, silly walks and wild-eyed expressions to become Bertie Wooster in the P.G. Wodehouse adaptation “Perfect Nonsense” at Hartford Stage last year, dials it down considerably here, but still gets a lot of laughs by limping, stretching, sprawling on the floor and otherwise loosening up the talky drama. His manner, his voice and his self-aware handsomeness come off as pure Colin Firth, though Williams goes even further (Firther?) in making Rochester a self-deprecating, effortlessly charming and classy gentleman. (...)
Without Chandler Williams’ whimsical restlessness, Felicity Jones Latta’s crazed incursions, and Ilona Somogyi’s colorful costumes, this “Jane Eyre” would seem way talkier than it already does. The wordiness is not a bad thing: the witty lines get big laughs. Jane’s journey from one household to another never gets confusing. Romance not only builds but is artfully described. The liveliness of Helen Sadler’s portrayal of Jane may be limited by her speechifying, but that’s not a diss: she’s a most articulate, charming and level-headed tale-spinner, who acts like she’s lived this life, relaxed a bit, and is relating it from a less hurried, excitable perspective.
What this “Jane Eyre” lacks in flash and action, it makes up for in studied, nonchalant storytelling. Reader, they’ve narrated it. (Christopher Arnott)
Northern Soul features one of the current contemporary art exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Calling all Brontë fans.
Textile artist Lindsey Tyson and sonic artist and composer Sarah Dew present a visual, tactile and audio exhibition that explores the emotional importance of place in Anne Brontë’s life.
These Scarborough-based artists were commissioned by the The Brontë Parsonage Museum to create a series of works drawing on Anne’s relationship with Scarborough and Haworth, and her journeys between these two places. (Helen Nugent)
The article includes a slideshow.

El País (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Isabel Greenberg's Glass Town.
Las pugnas entre ellos por el desarrollo de las vidas de sus personajes de ficción (Zamorna, Quashia, Zenobia…) abrirán una brecha entre los hermanos, que se bifurcan en dos bandos creativos: Charlotte y Branwell continuarán con las riendas de Angria, mientras que Emily y Ann crearán una isla de ficción llamada Gondal. Finalmente todo el espacio quedará en manos de Charlotte, erigida en el eje central de este cómic y única superviviente del clan en 1849, punto de arranque de la historia. Una Charlotte obsesionada con la fantasía de Angria, donde la vida podía discurrir con menos limitaciones que las impuestas por la realidad del siglo XIX a una mujer con mucho más talento que dinero como era su caso. El cómic de Greenberg explora esa frontera entre lo que es y lo que podría ser, también la seducción que puede despertar la imaginación en los espíritus inconformistas. La ciudad de cristal fue la claraboya de las Brontë para huir de la realidad. Sin ella probablemente no habrían existido Agnes Gray, Jane Eyre o Cumbres borrascosas. (Tereixa Constenla) (Translation)
Jezebel recommends Rachel Vorona Cote’s debut non-fiction book, Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today.
Academically trained, Vorona Cote’s Too Much is a meticulous close-reading of texts from the Brontë sisters to Jane Eyre’s madwoman Bertha Mason to Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” to the works of theorist Michel Foucault, whose ideas she renders accessible. Though rooted in studies of Victorian literature, Vorona Cote’s line of inquiry extends far beyond. Through careful consideration of Britney Spears, Amber Rose, Lana Del Rey, Madonna, TLC, and many others, Vorona Cote illuminates the harms that befall women who are corseted by the label of “too much.” (Jacqueline Alnes)
The Film Stage reviews the Brazilian film Todos os mortos:
There are echoes of Chekhov’s family units here, especially The Cherry Orchard, and I was also reminded of Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre in Bianchi’s spirited but fragile Ana, cooped up in a gated mansion not unlike a city-center version of Thornfield Hall. Men are conspicuously absent here. (Ed Frankl)
12:32 am by M. in ,    No comments
This is a new French book in which the subject is Brontëmania:
Quel Brontë êtes-vous ?
by Anna Feissel-Leibovici
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Imprint: Librinova
ISBN: 9791026249313

"Chez les Brontë, le pilier était le père, intimidant par sa haute stature et son titre de révérend. Il y avait une tante pour veiller à l'éducation des enfants, mais pas de mère. C'est probablement par cet interstice que j'avais pu me faufiler dans la famille et me sentir chez moi parmi les quatre enfants qui complétaient la maisonnée." On sait que lire ne va pas sans risque, la narratrice le vérifie à ses dépens: pour avoir trop fréquenté les Brontë, elle finit par se prendre pour un membre de la famille. Seul bémol à sa conviction, elle n'est pas sûre de savoir lequel. Ainsi débute une enquête qui la plonge dans les vertiges de l'identité, au fur et à mesure qu'elle brosse les portraits des trois célèbres sœurs et de leur frère. Comme s'ils détenaient à eux tous le secret de sa vie, la narratrice se reconnaît à divers titres dans chaque membre de cette fratrie. Charlotte, Emily, Anne et Bramwell (sic) ont été des enfants écrivains, c'est là que se noue la trame singulière qui relie sa propre histoire à celle des Brontë. Portraits croisés, promenades et rêveries sur la lande du Yorkshire interrogent la condition enfantine et celle des femmes écrivains, que tout rapproche à cette époque.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Den of Geek! talks about the latest season of Last Tango in Halifax:
In the sham rivalry that persists between devotees of Jane Austen (comedy, marriage, assembly room balls and card games) and the Brontë sisters (tragedy, passion, storm-swept moors and ghosts), you’d peg dramatist Sally Wainwright for the Brontë camp. A Yorkshirewoman who wrote and directed a luminous biopic about the sisters in 2016, she’d be #TeamHaworth all day long. (Loulsa Mellor)
Broadway World reviews the Jane Eyre performances in Hartford:
Elizabeth Williamson in her adaptation of the classic Brontë novel has done something quite difficult. She has taken a dense and complex tale and extracted the heart of the story in a way that is captivating and entertaining at the same time. Her script moves through the action quickly, getting to the meat of Jane's tale then playing it out for audiences to savor. As someone who was only peripherally familiar with the story (oddly enough, from the 2000 Broadway musical), it was easy to follow the plot and become quickly engaged in Jane's story. Ms. Williamson also does a great job with her direction - keeping the scenes moving quickly, using the rotating stage to strong effect. (...)
Jane Eyre is one of those plays that audience members either flock to because they love the source material or stay away from because of past opinions of the piece. This reviewer's hope is that both will come and give it a chance as this new adaptation feels fresh and new and illustrates why the story has survived (and thrived) for almost 175 years. (Joseph Harrison)
BingePost briefly reviews Heathcliff Redux
Heathcliff Redux: A Novella and Tales, by Lily Tuck. (Atlantic Month-to-month, $23.) Within the novella that anchors this assortment, Tuck makes use of the identical flat, fragmentary type of her most up-to-date novel, “Sisters,” to reimagine Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel “Wuthering Heights” as a story of self-delusion and inner battle in 1960s Virginia. The story is written in a collection of quick, clipped sections, generally a few paragraphs, others not more than a line or two per web page. The “restrained however remarkably arresting” consequence, our reviewer Lucy Scholes writes, is “a grasp class in digression as a story machine.”
In today's The Times Daily Quiz:
2 The chorus of which Kate Bush No 1 begins: “Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy”? (Olav Bjortomt)
A reader of The Guardian has been reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:
GELBuck has enjoyed imbibing Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:
I understand that this was written to discourage drinking and debauchery and encourage good and Godly behaviour. I’m not sure it would work in that way today. The heroine is a priggish and saintly character who would be hard to live with while the hero is so wet you could grow cress on him. My sympathies were more with the villainous husband who would have been great company at a party even if you wouldn’t want him to drive your wife home afterwards. Having said that, I enjoyed the ‘will they, won’t they’ melodrama of the story and there were some delicious scenes. I particularly liked the four-year-old boy being taught to drink wine, gin and brandy and swear at his mother (don’t judge!) as well as one female character proposing to disgrace her family by earning her own living!
Bookriot suggests literary tourism in ... Austin, Texas:
The hallowed research halls of the Harry Ransom Center on the sprawling Austin campus of the University of Texas are filled with nearly 1 million books and 42 million manuscripts. Brontë family writings? They’re here. (Nicole Hill)
Film Threat reviews Emma 2020:
If you are looking for an in-depth comparison between Emma, the book, versus Emma, the movie, I fear you have come to the wrong place. I never read the book or all that much Jane Austen. I’m more of a Brontë sisters kinda gal, although I have made plans to read all of Jane Austen’s books at one time or another. If it makes any of you, who are clutching your pearls at my disgraceful lack of culture, seeing Autumn De Wilde’s adaptation of the beloved novel makes me want to read the source material. (Lorry Kikta)
LiteraryHub explores the character of Ramona Quimby:
Charlotte Brontë’s heroines, sometimes churlish, but stridently devoted to a trusted few, are granted—perhaps unexpectedly—an emotional afterlife in Katniss Everdeen of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy. An arrow-slinging misanthrope, she, like Jane Eyre and Hermione, would sooner sacrifice herself than submit those she loves to suffering. After all, Katniss loves so few people. She is flinty and withholding, Lucy Snowe—the tricksy, taciturn heroine of Brontë’s Villette— as a dystopian action hero, and Collins doesn’t shield her young readers from the scorch of trauma that sears brain and body like a torch blazing in her abdomen. (Rachel Vorona Cote)
ActuaLitté (France) talks about the British Library online exhibition, Discovering Children's Books:
Discovering Children’s Books est une ressource en ligne gratuite pour les enfants, les enseignants ou tout amateur de littérature jeunesse. Des anciens manuscrits aux ouvrages contemporains, la collection retrace l’histoire et la grande diversité des livres pour enfants.
Plus de 100 ouvrages sont d’ores et déjà numérisés dont le manuscrit original d’Alice au Pays des merveilles, intitulé Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, une version du Petit Chaperon rouge de 1810, un bestiaire datant du XIIe siècle, une carte de Branwell Brontë illustrant The History of the Young Men (Brontë Juvenilia) et un carnet des premiers écrits connus de Charlotte Brontë. (Camille Cado) (Translation)
TeacherPhili reviews the Norwich performances of Wuthering Heights. Una isla de papel (Spain) talks about Charlotte Brontë's opinion about Jane Austen's novels. AnneBrontë.org posts about Edmund Dulac's illustrations of Brontë novels.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new production of Wuthering Heights opens today in Norwich:
The Norwich Players present
Wuthering Heights
Adapted by Jo Clifford
24th-29th February, 2019
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, UK

Through the windows of a gloomy house two children stare longingly into the night awaiting the return of their father from the city. He will bring something home: a boy. His name will be Heathcliff and his arrival will spark a passionate story of obsessive love and violent revenge. For some he will prove to be a gift from God, for others a curse from the Devil.
Emily Brontë’s passionate novel is wittily reimagined by Jo Clifford, ‘a key voice among a brilliant generation of Scottish playwrights.’ Famed for establishing the reputations of the Traverse Theatre Company, Clifford is one of Britain’s greatest adaptors of fiction, and her play of Dickens’ Great Expectations, a West End hit, was described by The Guardian as ‘a miracle of intelligent compression.’
An amateur production by arrangement with Alan Brodie Representation.
Norwich Evening News has further information:
Weeks of wild weather mean you might not need much imagination to picture the fierce beauty of the exposed Yorkshire moors, the setting for Emily Brontë's classic novel.
But this adaptation of Wuthering Heights takes its bold and confident styling in a different direction, with director and joint designer Sabrina Poole's production mixing video, audio, and clever use of the Maddermarket's galleries and windows to bring the internal storms of its characters to life.
Jo Clifford's text strips away the later chapters of the book and rejigs some of the timeline to focus on the frustrated passions that rage between Cathy, the gentleman's daughter, and Heathcliff, the vagabond boy rescued by her father. (James Gofin).

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020 12:01 pm by M. in , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian reviews Isabel Greenberg's graphic novel Glass Town:
The imaginary realms of the Brontë sisters offer an escape from Victorian constraints in a graphic novel that blurs fiction and memoir.
Before Jane Eyre and before Heathcliff, there was Glass Town. Isolated on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, the Brontë siblings spent their formative years squeezing minute script on to precious paper, collaborating and competing to tell slyly overblown sagas of imaginary lands – Angria, Gondal and the great city of Glass Town. (...)
Greenberg blurs fiction and memoir: characters walk between worlds and woo their creators. Pivotal periods such as Charlotte’s schooling in Belgium, where she because obsessed with her tutor, a possible model for Mr Rochester, are omitted: instead Greenberg focuses on the delights and dangers of “an interior world that was brighter, more golden” than reality. (James Smart)
Will Pavia interviews Gabriel Bryne in The Times:
Charlotte or Emily Brontë? Both
Norwich Evening News announces the upcoming performances of Wuthering Heights in Norwich:
Weeks of wild weather mean you might not need much imagination to picture the fierce beauty of the exposed Yorkshire moors, the setting for Emily Brontë's classic novel.
But this adaptation of Wuthering Heights takes its bold and confident styling in a different direction, with director and joint designer Sabrina Poole's production mixing video, audio, and clever use of the Maddermarket's galleries and windows to bring the internal storms of its characters to life.
Jo Clifford's text strips away the later chapters of the book and rejigs some of the timeline to focus on the frustrated passions that rage between Cathy, the gentleman's daughter, and Heathcliff, the vagabond boy rescued by her father.
Christina Clarke is confident and convincing as Cathy, with subtle artefacts of her growing attachment to Jose Taourca's Heathcliff. His accent wobbles a little but otherwise he is fittingly broody and quick to passion - whether romance or repugnance.(James Goffin)
The best audiobooks on the market according to the Daily Mail:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Narrated by Joanne Froggatt 12hrs 32mins
A contemporary review condemned the novel’s ‘vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors’, and Brontë’s strange tale of obsession and revenge still compels and disturbs almost two centuries after its publication. Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt brilliantly conveys its unique intensity.
The Tremenheere Wetherspoon pub in Penzance is not far from Brontë history according to Cornwall Live:
Thomas Branwell and his wife Anne lived just around the corner from the pub at 25 Chapel Street. Thomas and Anne produced 11 children but only four girls and one boy survived infancy.
The children’s much-loved Aunt Jane married the local Methodist minister and moved up north to Yorkshire. Jane was later visited by one of her nieces, Maria.
Maria fell in love with the Reverend Patrick Brontë. They married and produced a son, Branwell, and three daughters, the future novelists Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The rest is literary history. (Lee Trewhela)
Horror Cult Films talks about Jacques Tourneur's I Walked with a Zombie 1943:
“I once walked with a zombie” are the first words we here as we see two people at a distance walking along a beach in an opening possibly inspired by Rebecca’s “last night I went to Manderlay” – which is appropriate I guess seeing as Daphne du Maurier’s story isn’t that dissimilar to Charlotte Brontë’s and the Edward Rochester substitute in the movie often seems more like Max de Winter.(Dr Lenera)
The Patriot announces Riverside's 27th annual Dickens festival:
The festival will formally get underway at 10 a.m. outside Riverside City Hall, at Ninth and Main streets, where visitors will encounter actors representing Dickens, Queen Victoria, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Louisa May Alcott, Jules Verne, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- to name a few.
The Talko has one of these pointless articles whose only purpose is to fill pages of nonsense:
Jane Eyre Would Be A Libra
While Libras are known for their indecision, that doesn't mean it's their only trait. Jane Eyre, while a bit quieter than the other literary heroines, still shone in many ways: A truly diplomatic nature, somewhat of a charismatic socialite, and a passion for fair treatment are all things she displayed. Her fight for true love and the truth that haunted the one person she grew to care about is something a Libra would undoubtedly understand just as well. (Lianna Tedesco)
gonn1000 (Portugal) talks about the latest concert in Portugal of Emily Jane White:
Se o despojamento instrumental e escrita confessional da estreia, aliados a um timbre dolente mas caloroso e aveludado, suscitaram algumas comparações iniciais com os relatos de Cat Power, a californiana foi definindo um lugar especial num universo que aceita heranças do gótico sulista, do blues ou do alternative country, assim como dos olhares de Emily Brontë ou Cormac McCarthy, sem que as suas canções fiquem confinadas a um género em particular. (Translation)
The Deccan Herald reviews Venita Coelho's Whisper in the Wind:
Coelho clearly has a delicate touch when required — she conjures up powerful images of a bygone Goa and its gossipy, socially conservative and Portuguese influenced culture. However, Gothic stories — Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ and Charlotte Brönte's‘Jane Eyre’ come to mind — succeed best when the prose is at its most sparing. Here, there’s too much going on. (Saudha Kasim)
The Independent mentions Christiane Ritter's Eine Frauerlebt die Polarnacht:
A Woman in the Polar Night is remarkable for a few reasons. First, accounts written by women about hanging out in the wilderness in the early 20th century are hardly two a penny. At the time, few women were published, let alone female writers of the landscape. Nature writing by women existed – Susan Fenimore Cooper, Dorothy Wordsworth, Phillis Wheatley and Emily Brontë, for example – but it wasn’t until the 20th century that Nan Shepherd, Rachel Carson and Annie Dillard paved the way for the growing number today. (Lucy Jones)
Diario de Cádiz (Spain) argues that English heather has its origins in the Strait of Gibraltar's zone:
TÚ dices brezo, amor, y yo pienso en Heathcliff. En las Brontë. En los páramos de Yorkshire. En Escocia ardiendo en magentas imposibles. “Sí, es normal. Cuando se piensa en un brezal, la mente se va a las grandes extensiones –comenta el catedrático Fernando Ojeda, cabeza del Grupo de Investigación Febimed–. Pero, probablemente el brezo (Calluna vulgaris) que le da a las highlands de Escocia u tonalidad rojiza tan característica tuvo su origen aquí, en las herrizas del Estrecho español y marroquí. (Pilar Vera) (Translation)
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) recommends some book bargains:
Jane Eyre”. Övers. Ingegärd von Tell. Modernista. Roman. Vilken lycka för den som har denna viktorianska klassiker kvar att läsa! Guvernanten Janes möte med mr Rochester tillhör litteraturens mest laddade. Charlotte Brontë blandar suveränt mänsklig klarsyn, gotisk spänning och outtalad sexuell passion. (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) quotes the words of Marlon James criticising the Brontës... and everybody else basically:
Evidentemente no habrá respuesta de Charlotte, Emily y Anne Brontë que, según el gallito James, “no entendieron ni lograron capturar la emoción humana”. Tiene ¡el tupé! de criticar la pluma de las hermanas “por su estilo demasiado recargado”, y no se corta medio pelo al admitir que nunca pudo terminar Cumbres borrascosas: su animadversión, irónicamente, se basa en que el clásico de clásicos le resulta “demasiado violento”, “descaradamente cruel, sin justificaciones”. (Translation)
La Gaceta de Tucumán (Argentina) reviews the novel Nuestra Parte de la Noche by Mariana Enríquez:
El conflicto se dará cuando Juan, una especie de Heathcliff rubio intente rescatar a su hijo, Gaspar, y mantenerlo lejos de lo que parece ser su destino heredado por la sangre. (Karina Ocampo) (Translation)
OK Diario (Spain) quotes the writer Patricia Betancort:
Me encantan las novelas románticas, y el siglo XIX es una época que tanto a través de la literatura, como de las películas siempre me ha atraído, por el Romanticismo, como movimiento cultural y artístico», explica la autora. Y añade que, además, «es innegable, en mi opinión, que muchos escritores y escritoras dejaron huella al reflejar de forma magistral unas historias de amor que, más de un siglo después, a mí me conmueve como lectora. Orgullo y prejuicio de Jane Austen, Cumbres borrascosas de Emily Brönte (sic), La dama de las camelias de Alexandre Dumas, Madame Bovary de Gustave Flaubert…». (Translation)
Cretedoc (Greece) has an article about the Brontës.
1:11 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new poetry book published in Portugal with strong Emily Brontë echoes:
Ventos Borrascosos
Fernando Guerreiro
100 Cabeças
November 2019
Jornal I Digital interviews the author:
Ventos Borrascosos tem um elemento discursivo muito forte, uma condição teórica evidente, e é como se o poema fosse algo que se realiza no seu seio.
Na concepção deste livro houve algumas influências decisivas. A primeira foi a ideia do desenvolvimento do monólogo dramático. Algo entre o diálogo e o monólogo. Tinha já publicado poemas dramáticos... De resto há uma coisa que sempre se manteve: escrevo muito em função do som. Tenho certas obsessões sonoras, fonéticas quase. Vai-se escrevendo sendo guiado pelo que se quer dizer, mas, depois, o que vai rearranjando e decide o processo de cristalização do poema é uma espécie de construção acústica. Isto era até mais determinante no livro Fractus Vocis, que é um diálogo dramático entre um padre exorcista e uma monja possuída (isto a partir de referências históricas), e um livro que é uma expansão da ideia de um poema dramático que é este Herodíadas, que é a velha cena do triângulo: Herodíades, Salomé e São João Baptista. E se este novo livro tem a ver com a continuação dessa experiência, a tentativa de escrever um poema/ diálogo dramático, por outro tem a ver com a noção de romance, isto no sentido dos românticos alemães... Novalis... Um tipo de poesia em que cai o mundo. Não procura representar o mundo, como o romance em prosa, de um modo geral, pretende fazer, representando uma época histórica, a vida de um personagem, etc., a ideia aqui foi trabalhar a linguagem como o lugar onde a matéria, o peso do mundo, como se fosse um meteorito, cai e traz consigo uma porção nova, estranha, da história do cosmos. É romance nesse sentido em que caiu ali o mundo... O mundo cai às costas da trama suportada pelo romance da Emily Brontë, e isso produz efeitos no indivíduo que escreve e na linguagem. Portanto, tem a ver com esse efeito de reverberação cósmica, em que a linguagem está em convulsão tal como o cosmos. Isso é real. A ideia foi criar o real, que é algo dessa ordem impura, híbrida, feita de gestos, suores, palavras... (Translation)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:31 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Bustle lists '11 Classic Novels We Want To See On The Big Screen After 'Emma'' and among them are
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
We all know the story of Cathy and Heathcliff, but in the Me Too era, the crimes of Wuthering Heights' brooding, Byronic "hero" feel sinister, and rightly so. Emily Brontë's novel is primed for a new, honest adaptation this year. [...]
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
A prequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea tells the story of Antoinette Cosway, a young Creole woman who finds herself married to a cruel and uncaring English gentleman. He renames her Bertha, claims she is mentally ill, and locks her in the attic of his manor house. Wide Sargasso Sea hasn't had a screen adaptation since 2006, and, as with Wuthering Heights above, the Me Too era has primed audiences for a new film version of this novel. (K.W. Colyard)
Dallas Voice reviews the film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu:
 The trope of the newcomer confronted by closed-lipped servants in a remote, wind-battered setting has been a surefire one since the days of the Brontë sisters and Henry James. But what sets this film apart is how incisively writer-director Celine Sciamma uses her camera, sometimes with point-of-view shots that create tension or excitement, sometimes with the detachment of a painter herself; any given frame could be its own masterpiece — a Vermeer, or perhaps a Rembrandt. It’s as ravishing as its subject matter. (Arnold Wayne Jones)
El Día (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Isabel Greenberg's Glass Town.
Es curioso que Isabel Greenberg apuesta también por la literatura en La ciudad de cristal (Impedimenta), pero desde el propio protagonismo coral de su nueva obra. Esta jovencísima autora ha demostrado una capacidad de fabulación tan desmedida como original y personal en obras como La Enciclopedia de la Tierra Temprana o Las Cien Noches de Hero (ambas editadas también por Impedimenta), donde con una solidez desbordante se adentraba en el terreno de la construcción del cuento y del mito, aprovechando una medida ingenuidad para deslizar poderosos discursos de empoderamiento y renovación. En su nueva obra, se acerca a una familia creadora: las de las cuatro hermanas Brontë, un referente literario que usará de anclaje en la realidad para explorar los mundos personales creativos de las hermanas, coincidentes en una ficticia Ciudad de Cristal que, a modo de imaginación común, actúa de espacio privado para la libertad creativa y la búsqueda. Como si miráramos a través de un agujerito mientras una niña juega, lo imaginado se convierte en real en paralelo a la realidad de un contexto personal e histórico que condiciona toda la vida de las hermanas y, por tanto, la propia creación. Un bucle infinito, en el que ese proceso creativo de pura fantasía liberada queda empapado de las dificultades de la vida diaria, de la omnipresente muerte, de las limitaciones de la mujer en la época victoriana o de las imposiciones sociales, generando una visión fascinante, en la que no podemos separar universo interior del entorno exterior, comprendiendo la complejidad de una creación que va mucho más allá del enfrentamiento a la página en blanco. Una obra que, de nuevo, se contagia de esa lectura mágica que impregna todas las obras de esta autora. Una obra imprescindible. (Álvaro Pons) (Translation)
Verily has an article on Fanny Burney and states that,
Though much-neglected by readers today, her legacy is lasting and important. Virginia Woolf dubbed her the “mother of English fiction.” Her influence can be traced through the next century, carrying us right through Jane Austen’s comedies of manners, Charles Dickens’ insightful realism, and the social satires of William Makepeace Thackeray—not to mention that her reputation as a respected lady of letters also paved the way for female writers like the Brontës and Elizabeth Gaskell. (Sienna Vittoria Lee-Coughlin)
Expreso (Spain) features the Spanish translation of Sarah Baxter's book Literary Places.
Explora los paisajes y lugares que inspiraron grandes novelas. Viaja a las llanuras abrasadas por el sol de la Mancha, deambula por Cathy y Heathcliff por los salvajes páramos de Yorkshire o descubre Central Park a través de los ojos del antihéroe de J.D. Salinger. (Translation)
Secret Manchester recommends some places worth visiting in the Peak District and one of them is
5. Hathersage
In the 19th and 20th centuries Hathersage was an industrial village, producing things like needles and then umbrellas, but it’s also known for its connection to Charlotte Brontë. She spent some months there in 1845 and set her novel Jane Eyre in the village. Robin Hood’s companion, Little John, is also supposedly buried in Hathersage and you can read his gravestone in the churchyard. All of the main attractions here are located to the north west and north east, so if you head north from the main car park, it is easy to find everything and see it all in one day. (Katherine Notman)
Gizmodo features a speaker shaped like Baby Yoda and wonders,
Baby Yoda reading the audiobook of Wuthering Heights? Yep. (Holly Brockwell)
Last night, Channel 5 broadcast Celebrity Britain by Barge: Then & Now and, according to The National (Scotland) TV presenter Jennie Bond 'walks in Charlotte Bronte’s footsteps'. She visits, in fact, Wycoller Hall.

Austen Marriage posts about Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.
2:31 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The Andrew Sheridan adaptation of Wuthering Heights now on stage in Manchester has been published by Nick Hern Books:
Wuthering Heights
By Emily Brontë Adapted by Andrew Sheridan
Nick Hern Books
Series: NHB Modern Plays
ISBN: 9781848429222
13 Feb 2020

When two souls collide, the impact can resonate for all eternity. So it was – and so it is – with Heathcliff and Cathy. But if they can't be together, the world that struggles to contain them will simply shatter and burn…
Andrew Sheridan's gripping reinvention of Emily Brontë's classic novel Wuthering Heights is a searing and ferocious celebration of passion, of desire – and of the female imagination that created this indelible masterpiece.
Exposing a very different but essentially truthful side to literature's most electric couple, it premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 2020, in a production directed by Bryony Shanahan, joint Artistic Director of the theatre.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Penguin asks journalist and broadcaster Ash Sarkar about the 'five books that made her and one of them is Jane Eyre.
The first time I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, I did that thing that all 12-year-olds do, which was think: ‘oh my god, I’m just like Jane Eyre, because I’m not that pretty, but maybe I have a moral fortitude and an intellectual capacity that sets me apart and I wish someone would see it!’ A few years later, when I met my step dad’s family in Yorkshire for the first time, it helped me make sense of the landscape, how it was cold and blustery, with hills everywhere and no Tube station.
I was definitely one of those schoolyard Gloria Steinems: ‘What do you mean I have to wear a uniform that reaches the knee? This is so oppressive!’. I don’t look like Jane Eyre, but I shared her sense of dissatisfaction with the social order. Later, I realised that, as a woman of colour, I actually felt a lot more like Bertha, the wife hidden upstairs. (Sam Parker)
Brigham Young University's Scroll tells about a recent talk on Jane Eyre.
Kayla Probeyahn, an adjunct faculty member in the English department, spoke about this semester’s Big Read pick, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Students listened to her speak about the feminist imagination in Brontë’s novel.
Her focus was on imagination and what it meant to Brontë in her time. Probeyahn explained that imagination was more of a moral power to imagine a better world. She looked at what this meant for Jane’s journey of self-discovery.
As he spoke, some students stopped writing notes completely in order to watch Probeyahn as she talked. She was inspired by William Woodsworth, an English poet in the romantic era, who said, “Imagination is reason in its most exalted mood.” [...]
Probeyahn cited instances when imagination helps Jane explore deep moral questions and make hard decisions.
“Jane faces moral tests and temptations, but does what she feels is right and I think that the book wants you to know that it works out in the end,” Probeyahn said. (Elli Sanchez)
Telegraph India wonders about literary works inspired or derived from previous ones.
But in modern times — or should one say ‘postmodern’? — weaving patchwork out of existing texts as well as retelling known tales have become acceptable literary forms. Does the reader not find new stories in, say, Jean Rhys’s allusion to the mad woman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre or Howard Jacobson’s portrayal of Shakespeare’s Shylock? (Kamalika Basu)
One of The New York Times' new books of the week is
Heathcliff Redux: A Novella and Stories, by Lily Tuck. (Atlantic Monthly, $23.) In the novella that anchors this collection, Tuck uses the same flat, fragmentary style of her most recent novel, “Sisters,” to reimagine Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel “Wuthering Heights” as a tale of self-delusion and internal conflict in 1960s Virginia. The story is written in a series of short, clipped sections, sometimes a couple of paragraphs, others no more than a line or two per page. The “restrained but remarkably arresting” result, our reviewer Lucy Scholes writes, is “a master class in digression as a narrative device.” (John Williams)
New York Journal of Books posts about it too.

Star Tribune reviews the film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.
The French romance begins in “Jane Eyre” mode: Marianne (Noémie Merlant), on a boat in rough waters, abruptly leaps into the sea with a mysterious package. She washes up on an island and we discover the package contains canvases. Soggy ones. She has arrived at an isolated manor to paint someone named Heloise. [...]
There’s a literary quality to “Portrait,” not just because of the Bronte-esque story but also because you’d be wise to pay close attention to the scene in which the women trade theories about why Orpheus turns to look back at Eurydice in the mythic tale, losing her forever. (Chris Hewitt)
A contributor to St Thomas Times-Journal wonders,
Did the Brontës have to do dishes on their vacation? (Eric Bunnell)
The sad thing here is not whether they did the dishes or not, it's whether the Brontës went much on vacation, which they mostly didn't.

The Oban Times features Canna House:
Ms Shaw, in her memoir From The Alleghenies To The Hebrides, recounted her impressions when she saw Canna House for the first time in the August of 1938: ‘It had a melancholy air, as though the home of sick Brontës.’
Brussels Brontë Blog tells about a recent talk on Anne Brontë's poetry by Emelie Sannen.
12:44 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new local production of Jane Eyre. The Musical opens today, February 21, in Vernal, Utah:
Jane Eyre Musical
by Paul Gordon & John Caird
Vernal Theatre
Vernal, Utah
February 21-29, 7PM

Charlotte Brontë’s great love story comes to life with music to lift your heart and set your spirit soaring. This beloved tale of secrets and the lies that secrets create, of unimaginable hope and unspoken passion, reminds us what it is to fall deeply, truly and completely in love. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Jane Eyre enchants audiences with a timeless love story.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Keighley News looks at the Anne Brontë year ahead at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
An exhibition in Haworth exploring Anne Brontë's life is the centrepiece of a year of events celebrating the writer's 200th birthday.
Amid The Brave And The Strong is the title of the exhibition through running throughout 2020 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The museum is also putting together a series of events devised with its creative partner for 2020, writer, journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.
Activities through the year include talks, behind-the-scenes events, writing and art workshops, author appearances, musical and comedy performances, a film screening, and children's craft sessions every school holiday.
This year, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the youngest Brontë, marks the end of five years of celebrations of key anniversaries for the four Brontë siblings and their father. [...]
This year is also the 200th anniversary of the Brontë family's arrival in Haworth, the place where they wrote their famous novels.
Amid The Brave And The Strong was launched earlier this month, when the museum reopened after its winter break, and will run until January 1 next year.
The exhibition explores the life and work of Anne, the least famous of the Brontë sisters, who wrote the novels The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey.
A spokesman for the Brontë Parsonage Museum said that Anne’s life and work had received much less exploration than those of her sisters.
She said: "Amid The Brave And The Strong will delve into key elements of Anne’s life, from her childhood at the Parsonage, to how her legacy has been shaped by others since her death.
"Throughout her life, ‘dear gentle Anne’ was considered the baby of the Brontë family, but she went on to write one of the first sustained feminist novels in English literature – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
"Although her work bears the familiar stamps of a classic Brontë novel, Anne’s strong moral beliefs led her to write for purpose as well as pleasure, something which shocked and excited her readers at the time.
"Anne was not to be deterred by criticism however, and right up to her death she had plans and schemes for the future.
"The exhibition tracks the course of her life and gives an insight into Anne’s personality and motivations, which reveal a strong, outspoken and complex genius."
Highlights of the exhibition include Anne’s poignant last letter, some of Anne's original drawings and paintings, and a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall given by Anne to a close friend, which is currently on loan to the museum.
There is also a portrait of Anne by Charlotte, displayed together with the carnelian necklace worn by her in the picture.
A sketching block specifically designed for use in the open air and purchased by Anne in 1843, is on display for the first time after being loaned to the museum.
Pride of place goes to Charlotte’s first ‘little book’, which was written especially for Anne. [...]
Samira Ahmed said she was looking forward to returning to Haworth during 2020 to explore Anne Brontë's life and legacy.
Ahmed will soon unveil programme of talks and events to shine the light on a woman she terms an "oft-overlooked" writer, and highlight still-relevant issues that Anne wrote about more than 170 years ago.
Ahmed said: "Winning a place at Oxford University in 1986, I chose to study the new Women’s Studies option as part of my English Literature degree.
"Alongside reading the exciting African American prose emerging from the likes of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on ‘Property and Possession: The Politics of Marriage in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’, looking at connections with the eventual 1870 Married Women’s Property Act that granted women some rights 22 years after Anne Brontë’s publication."
Hannah said that at the Parsonage in Haworth, she was mesmerised by the dimly-lit dining room where the sisters walked round the table sharing their stories of their elaborately imagined early fantasy worlds.
She added: "While looking at some of the collection in the Library, I smile to see Anne’s drawing of one of the strong Amazonian women of her imaginary island creation Gondal; standing tall and confident on the rocky seashore, looking out to the horizon and a world of adventure.
"I am still trying to process the impact of Anne Brontë, a young motherless woman with brown curls and a few cherished possessions, on my life and on the long campaign for women’s rights.
"Re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall while preparing for my own employment tribunal for equal pay was an incredibly potent experience. I felt her voice and her sense of indignation speak to me across the centuries."
The Brontë Parsonage Museum has two writers-in-residence for 2020, who will both write new poetry as there research Anne Brontë's life and work, then share their responses digitally later this year.
Toria Garbutt is a spoken word artist from the former mining town of Knottingley in West Yorkshire. She has been a regular support act for Dr John Cooper Clarke. [...]
Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion and Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist. (David Knights)
The Telegraph and Argus recommends a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum among other things to do in Bradford this weekend.

What'sOnStage reports that Emma Rice has found her Cathy and Heathcliff for her forthcoming stage adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Initial casting has been announced for Emma Rice's adaptation of Wuthering Heights, which opens at the National Theatre later this year before embarking on a UK tour.
Lucy McCormick (Post Popular, Collective Rage) will play Cathy in the stage version of Emily Brontë's novel, alongside John Pfumojena (The Jungle) as Heathcliff.
The piece is co-produced by Rice's company Wise Children and the National Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal. After running in London in September it will play at the Lowry in Salford and tour to cities including Canterbury, York and Bristol, with further stops to be announced. (Alex Wood)
BBC Culture wonders about 'the most terrifying images in history' and Paula Rego's work is mentioned.
But to my eye, the formidable figures we encounter in Rego’s work – from The Policeman’s Daughter (1987) who portentously polishes a jackboot to her portrait of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in the menacing red room – invariably defy fear rather than embody it. (Kelly Grovier)
On Vox, director Céline Sciamma is quoted as saying the following about her film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.
We began with shooting the exteriors for eight days. I wanted it to be kind of gothic, so it’s colorful, but it’s more Brontë sisters, the gray and the rain. And it was super sunny [when we shot the exteriors]! Cinema is about welcoming things with enthusiasm, especially things that you don’t have power over. You have so much power over everything that sometimes it can be super disturbing that you don’t get what you expect, especially with period pieces where you design everything. And the fact that the sun came in, we were like, this is good news, and we have to bring back this light now to our castle in the Parisian periphery [where the interiors were shot]. (Emily Todd VanDerWerff)
The New York Times discusses 'Why Tales of Female Trios Are Newly Relevant'.
It has always seemed right and proper that the Brontës and (the original) Kardashians came in threes, and of course, there’s an entire pop-­music history of female trios, going back to the Supremes. (Megan O’Grady)
A contributor to The Independent describes her youthful obsession with a boy:
Even the night before, when I was ranting on and on about him, she stopped abruptly and said: “Hang on a minute, you sound like Cathy in Wuthering Heights.” She started reciting the bit when she tells Nelly, “I am Heathcliff!. He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” I had to agree there were some similarities in her depth of feeling. (Charlotte Cripps)
Essex Live lists things to see and do locally and one of them is a trip to
41) Northey Island
Northey Island is owned by the National Trust who call it ‘the closest you’ll get to true wilderness in Essex’.
To visit you have to arrange for a permit and you can’t cross over at high tide. It’s referred to as ‘bleak, remote and quiet’ and ‘the Wuthering Heights of Essex’. (Tommy Wathen, Clare Youell, Lottie O'Neill, Elliot Hawkins)
Satire website Reductress tells (makes up, really) the story of a 'Woman [who] Decides to Briefly Consider Reading ‘Jane Eyre’ Every 3 Years for Rest of Life'. Zip06 has a quiz to test your knowledge about Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Brussels Brontë Blog has a post on the recent talk on Brontë Mind Mapping by Mark Cropper.